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Publisher's Summary

It should have been an ordinary birth, the start of an ordinary happy family. But the night Dr David Henry delivers his wife's twins is a night that will haunt five lives for ever.

For though David's son is a healthy boy, his daughter has Down's syndrome. And, in a shocking act of betrayal whose consequences only time will reveal, he tells his wife their daughter died while secretly entrusting her care to a nurse. As grief quietly tears apart David's family, so a little girl must make her own way in the world as best she can.

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©2005 Kim Edwards (P)2007 WF Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.

What listeners say about The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Too long winded

Unfortunately, the story line just dragged on and on and on. If this had not been one of the readings for bookclub I would have put it down before the first chapter even finished. It was soooooooooo depressing and long winded, describing images over and over again. It was unnecessary and added words to the story but no really substance.

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drawn out boring disappointing

disappointed. I've had this book on my shelf to read for years. I was really looking forward to this tale of birth and unexpected choices . I found it indulgent & unnecessarily discriptive. just a bit meh

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Genevieve
  • 07-12-2011

Slow to unfold, but beautifully told

This beautiful book delves into the lives of five characters and how one experience shaped their futures. At times you will be equally engaged and disengaged by each of the characters and this is what gives the book one of it's greatest qualities - the ability to see the characters as real human beings and understand and empathise with their response.

It briefly touches on some of the issues of the times, but does not seek to fully explore these themes, rather focusing on the individual traits, strengths and struggles of the characters.

I would recommend this book to anyone seeking a character driven storyline who doesn't require a perfectly packaged ending.

Slow to unfold at times, but worth the wait.


1 person found this helpful

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  • Jackie
  • 09-04-2019

kept persisting hoping for a decent ending

the narrative just went on and on and i stayed with it hoping for a decent ending. so disappointing. perhaps if the reading had been better and the personalities were better drawn and there had been more substance to the story line i may have given it 2 stars as it was i just could not wait for it to finish. seriously lacking credibility. so so boring.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Hayley
  • 18-04-2010

Average at best

I wanted to like it, I tried to enjoy it, but I didn't. It had a promising plot, some clever writing and plenty of detail but somehow it failed to engage me. I listened to the audio until the end but I was unable to empathise with the characters... and I have a child with Down syndrome. On that subject the author has tried to present a positive image of disability but failed miserably and the insensitive narration only highlighted this fact. All in all the book is not something I would recommend to others. Conversely a close friend of mine has read it and loved it. She recommended it to me. Horses for courses I guess...

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Venice
  • 28-04-2010

The Memory Keeper's Diary

With no prior expectations of this novel, it was many chapters before I was hooked.
Superficially simplistic, meandering and at times unbearably slow, the analogy of the Doctor as a God with the fallibility of man, able to alleviate the pain of everyone except his nearest and dearest, works well. The rippling effect (over many decades) of a clinical judgment distorted by emotion is skillfully charted by the author.

Devoid of sentimentality, the depiction of the power of human love is masterful. With no personal experience of children affected by Down’s Syndrome, the vulnerability of Phoebe, albeit fictional, invoked thoughts and emotions never previously explored. With no tidy ending, many questions are left unanswered. This permits tendrils of the novel’s exploration of the human mind to linger long after the last word is spoken.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathleen
  • 16-04-2010

THE MEMORY KEEPERS DAUGHTER.

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE LISTENED OR READ THIS AUTHER.I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK I CRIED AS THE STORY WAS SO REAL TO ME.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S M.
  • 24-02-2021

A moving story

Written with a depth of feeling that sometimes moves you to tears both of joy and frustration. Would recommend this book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 27-07-2009

Sad, but engrossing

A seemingly happy couple have twins, one is born with Downs Syndrome, one healthy. The father, suffering from a childhood marred by the death of a younger sister, believes his wife won't be able to cope with the Downs Syndrome daughter; and gives her to a home whilst informing his wife she died.

We follow the lives of the family members forever scarred by the false belief that their daughter/sibling is dead. The reader is left to fight with conflicting emotions regarding the father's decision and the resulting torments inflicted on all the characters involved.

4 people found this helpful

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